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Sunday, April 20, 2014

After weight gains, losses, Rutgers' Quanzell Lambert settles in at rush end

By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Sophomore Quanzell Lambert was 18 years old the last time his playing weight topped 250 pounds.

Rutgers' rush end's size has fluctuated with the team's wishes. To recap:

August 2012: arrived as a linebacker at 250 pounds

2012 season (redshirt): dropped to 220 to play more at Rutgers' preferred weight

spring 2013: moved to rush end, adds 15 pounds to 235; plays 2013 season at same weight

spring 2014: up to 255-260 pounds at Rutgers' requested weight

Lambert, a prized recruit, was skeptical of the move but last week called it "the best decision the coaches have made for me."

"They saw my physical ability, me getting bigger," Lambert said. "They see that I was a guy they could put on the defensive line and also play linebacker. That pretty much brings your excitement up knowing you can play multiple positions."

Listed as Rutgers' first-team rush end, Lambert will have both pass rush and coverage responsibilities in defensive coordinator Joe Rossi's new take on the hybrid position.

Rush ends have been asked to line up in a two-point stance instead of three this spring.

Lambert (shoulder) is listed as out but took in recent practices with a black non-contact jersey.

"It's a minor setback, but things happen for a reason," he said. "When I get back, I'm definitely going to be on the field working hard with everybody and get back to where we need to be."

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